Journal Paper

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Journal: IRANIAN JOURNAL OF MEDICAL EDUCATION | Year:1390 | Volume:11 | Issue:7 (36) | Start Page:685 | End Page:694

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Title

THE QUALITY OF EDUCATIONAL SERVICES: GAP BETWEEN OPTIMAL AND ACTUAL STATUS ACCORDING TO DENTISTRY STUDENTS

Pages

 Start Page 685 | End Page 694

Abstract

 Introduction: STUDENTS as main customers of EDUCATIONAL SERVICES judge service QUALITY by making a comparison between their expected services and the services that they receive. Differences between expectations and perceived performance are referred to as ‘quality gap’. Regarding EDUCATIONAL SERVICES, this gap is related to managers’ failure to recognize and respond to the STUDENTS’ needs. The first step to reduce the gap is identifying STUDENTS’ perceptions and expectations. The aim of this study was to determine the QUALITY gap of EDUCATIONAL SERVICES in the DENTISTRY school of an Iranian university of medical sciences.Methods: All 220 DENTISTRY STUDENTS of a university of medical sciences were surveyed in this cross sectional study in 2009. A self-administrated questionnaire based on the SERVQUAL questionnaire, which proved to be valid and reliable, was used for data collection. The gap between perceptions and expectations in five dimensions of EDUCATIONAL SERVICES QUALITY (i.e., service reliability, responsiveness, assurance, empathy, and tangibles) was assessed. Descriptive statistics and Friedman and Wilcoxon tests were applied.Results: There was a negative gap in all dimensions. The maximum gaps were related to tangibles (-0.70) and responsiveness (- 0.55) dimensions of QUALITY of EDUCATIONAL SERVICES (p=0.001). As for items, the maximum gap (-1.93) was related to the appeal of physical facilities such as buildings, chairs, and resting rooms in tangibles dimension.Conclusion: The negative gap between all dimensions of EDUCATIONAL SERVICES QUALITY implies STUDENTS’ dissatisfaction. So it is necessary for managers to make use of the viewpoints of the STUDENTS to decrease the gap.

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